May 29, 2009
I hold advanced degrees in Physics and Mathematics. I would submit to you that the most overwhelming evidence for the merit of the uptick rule is that it withstood the test of 70+ years. Shortly after it was eliminated, very similar market turmoil to that which was responsible for its imposition ensued. The probability of little correlation in these two coincident events is infinitesimal. Most arguments against the uptick rule are based on belief that long and short transactions should be symmetric. This is fundamentally flawed as it assumes jubilation and fear are equally motivating factors. I would submit that fear is stronger motivation. While the argument that a hedge fund might drive a stock price to zero by shorting it is at least contemplateable, I've never heard of anyone suggesting that a hedge fund could take advantage of over enthusiasm to drive a stock price to infinity by going long.